Tonight’s WINNER of the laptop bag is… #54 Bruce

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Congratulations Bruce #54

I will email you soon.

Stay tuned for more give-a-ways all April long – Rene

 

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“It’s Carrion” & a Laptop bag give-a-way today at Deltapoints.com

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What kind of laptop bag do you like? One with wheels or without? Well I have decided to burn some credits and spring for this laptop bag to give-a-way to a reader with random.org tonight. You can look at the specs about it HERE btw. To enter is EZ. Just say “HI” or “I want to win” or whatever for a chance at this puppy! You will even get a way kool Delta Points luggage tag to go with it!

And to go along with that I though I would share a BC comic that seemed to fit well with today’s post!

From  johnhartstudios.com click to see full size

 

Thanks for reading and supporting the blog everyone and unless you have been living under a rock you will know that the last day “OFFICIALLY” for the 50,000 point Chase card below is April 3rd so think about it if you do yet have this card! – René

EDIT: We have a winner – thanks for reading the blog!

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More OFFICIAL updates from DELTA on Air France business class award bookings

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I just got an official update from DELTA CORP on the situation and it is this:

“SkyMiles award seat availability in business class on Air France and KLM operated flights is currently unavailable. Delta, Air France and KLM are working together to resolve this matter and apologize for the inconvenience.

Additional details on this situation will be posted on the delta.com when available. In the interim, SkyMiles members should book Delta operated flights for business class award travel and upgrades.” – From Delta Air Lines

Now if the ASIAN booking option does shut down tonight Sunday night, we should all take notice of what is going on! I will do my best to keep you up to date! – Rene

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An update on award booking AF flights call Asia?!?

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As I blogged about before & received both unofficial and official notice of from Delta company people, there continues to be a “bug”, well one of many, in the Delta Award booking software. Thanks to readers at FlyerTalk there seems to be a work-a-round but you have to call the Asian Delta booking center during open hours to get what you want as you can see by this post HERE.

The phone number for the center is 011-852-2810-4288 from the USA. I would use SKYPE if you don’t want to pay international calling fees!

So for now, if you want to find seats in low level business on Air France with Delta Skymiles, this will be the only way as the Delta reps in the USA’s computers still show ZERO seats. Some are speculating this an intentional attempt by Delta to limit award seats. I in no way feel this is the case, but it is just another example of how very broken the Delta software is to book award seats! – Rene

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Today’s WINNERS of the Delta Points Luggage Tags are….

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#25 Rob, #9 David  , #7 Sheila ,  #17 Drew &  #1 Joe

Congratulations! I will contact you via e-mail for more info.

BTW those who guessed FRA or Frankfurt you get two tags!

The 1st class trip on Lufthansa was great. I will have trip reports this Sunday and next. – Rene

Plus some kool photos from my new camera of Gothenburg.

 

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Some changes to the blog – thanks to readers

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Let me say thank you to begin with. Last week I asked for some help with my “LINKS” tab at the top of the blog. It was, frankly, just a mess. Nothing but a long list of links that I put up quickly and added to now and then. No organization and not easy to navigate. I wanted your input and got it in this post.  So what do you think of the changes? I would love to get some feedback of what you all think and what more to do as this is still a work in progress. For example, am I missing some important links? Or what else should I add or change? Please tell me.

How about this. I will give away to 5 readers via a random.org drawing one of the new, rare and highly prized, Delta Points luggage tags to any comments about the changes.

 PS – as a bonus deal if you do WIN, and you guess EXACTLY where I am

in these photo’s on my current trip you get two tags!

 

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A wake-up call for modern travel

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Knowing tech as I do, and using tech as I do, I take steps to try to mitigate the chance of information I want kept private from going public. I am still dumbfounded by the number of times people click on things they get from a “friend” either via facebook or an e-mail that ends up being a virus or malware.

But I digress. Today’s blog is about security when you travel. Most of us fly Delta with a cell phone, laptop and or a tablet of some kind. I use passwords for all of them on the startup page. A dedicated hacker who did get hold of my laptop could pull the drive and get to some data, but that is what it would take. Do you have passwords on all your stuff? Do you always put these items back in the same place or absentmindedly lay them on a chair or table or plug them in to charge somewhere? According to this article you should password protect them as millions of cell phones are lost each year and people who find them TRY to open data you wish they would NOT!

Delta Points readers are a select group. We “get” travel. We know the routine. We plan for what often times happens so we are not shell-shocked and frightened when travel goes awry, but just spring into action our next option to get where we want to go. And as I blogged about in my personal experience on a KLM regional flight we should be pro-active and aware of what goes on around us in our modern age.

A lost cell phone could cost you plenty in inconvenience and lost productivity, but if you cause a ruckus or delay a flight it may cost you thousands of dollars if you end up impacting other travelers according to the NYC port authority. Recently we were on an already delayed flight and had a now somewhat tight connection. Every minute counts at this point and a business traveler walked back up the asile to the boarding door and said he “left his cell phone somewhere near the window at the gate” and wanted the ground staff to look for his lost phone before they closed the door. He was ready to deplane to find his phone. What about his luggage? Would it have to be pulled? Plane side checked bags too? The list goes on and all our connections looking down the tubes due to one person’s lost phone. In this case it worked out and ground staff found it and we were only delayed 5-10 minutes all-in but you get my point!

Much of what we do is intended to improve our travel experience and avoid causing our own delays and frustrations. Please add this to your list of thing to think about each time you travel – Rene

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Now AF/KLM wants to compete with RyanAir oh NO say it ain’t so!

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I fly KLM/AF quite a bit. I do like, but not love, their business class products over water and the service is generally good. But I do have a bias towards Delta metal. It is a strange (in a good way) thing for me to step onto a Delta jet and hear Sky tunes and have warm and smiling American accented attendants greet me by name and look happy to see me! I am sad to be on the last leg of my trip, but I am sorta home and I like the warm fuzzy feeling that gives me.

Now the pseudo business class product that KLM has inta-Europe in which you get a coach seat plus sometimes one blocked off for your “personal space”, and food that is a step above a vending machine from yesterday, or the AF answer to Delta regional jets is strictly coach with surly French attendants, is not my idea of the way to complete my business class trip experience!

But according to Bloomberg we may be in for a totally new experience  – enter Transavia Air! And you thought it was bad now Mr. Delta Points. HA! So tell me, how will the great new SKY boarding go on KLM/AF Transavia Air budget airline? ( I can tell you the boarding in Gothenburg right now is EVERYONE RUSH the gate as fast as you can and who cares what status or seat you have )! This is following the news that they will also acquire the reaming shares of Alitalia in 2013.

from Caddyshack Orion Pictures

With the race to the bottom to make money at least Delta beat out Spirit Air this year for the Golden Poo award – “so we got that going for us” (spoken like Carl from Caddyshack). Kids, I have said it before and I’ll say it again, this is going to be a fun year with Skyteam. – Rene

 

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Delta Fare class LIMBO everyone let’s go low! E-Class and more…

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Photo toonpool.com

You gotta love Spirit Airlines & Ryan Air. The former had “fares” for as low as $9 before the new real full price advertising rules ( that I love btw ) and the later thinking of offering toilets for a fee to now plans to remove all but one commode!

So E-Class is the “low” for Delta on the fare chart: http://cwsi.net/delta.htm For now, cattle class passengers you pay very little until you need to fly and then get the chance to get out your credit card to pay for everything else or every add-on possible once the ticket is past the 24 hr government mandated cancel time period. Assigned seats, boarding priority, food, even air – all are extra ( OK you still get free stale air on all airlines for now ). For now medallions still earn full MQM’s etc. and get most of the standard perks but who really thinks this this will last much longer!

Now I don’t envy our or other airlines work to make money. You have multiple governments all telling you what you can and cannot do. You rarely turn a profit and a tick up in the gas price can mean your year goes from income to loss. Every step you take to make money is pushed back by regulators or another airline that, due to market conditions, can fly cheaper than you and undercuts your price below your profit margin. Many readers know I run my own tech firm. I would not stand for any of this and get up and go to work each day.

So, get to the point already. Why this info / rant? Here it is. I do like my airline ( and even love some days ). I want Delta to be a big strong airline. I am also greedy and a DYKWIA type person on the inside and try not to act that way or ever show it. I have struggled with the idea of not having status one day and just having the DELTA AMEX card but have come to the realization that if you are going to fly Delta you NEED status. Even Silver status gets you past much of what is and is coming. Now don’t flame me that Silver is worthless. It is not for the sake of this topic. Yes, you now need a Delta AMEX + Silver to get much of what Silver gave you before, but such is life! I pay each year $450 as I like my AMEX Reserve card and value what it gives me and Delta sees the value of what AMEX gives to Delta.

Now you have my official stand until things change in T&C’s with Delta. Get status. Any status. One way is  getting AMEX Reserves business vs. personal as this way you get 10k each year and only have to fly 15k to get your Silver. If you don’t fly 15k MQM a year this post is not for you. If you do, you see the logic of what I am talking about.

Mileage run anyone? I will fly with you if you find a deal. E-mail me and let’s fill some birds with Delta Points readers some day on the way to who cares where and back! Boy would a Delta MEGADO or even MINIDO be fun this year. Perhaps with a DELTA 757 from ATL to say Boeing with tours at ATL and then at Boeing + maybe some bonus  MQM’s! Would anyone be game for this? I would love it but doubt Delta is in the mood right now. Who knows  – Rene

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Be alert for new opportunities with NYC dual Delta hub

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The growing trend for Delta has been to downsize over the past years. Fewer routes and more packed planes. However they are expanding many routes into NYC due to the new dual hub strategy. Here is one example in Buffalo. So keep on the lookout for these as well as other seasonal routes that you can find on the Delta web site HERE.

Not only are these avenues to search when looking for somewhat hard to find low level seats where you may want to go, but there may also be great chances for fare sales (be sure and let me know if you find good ones to share with other blog readers please btw) for mileage runs or to pad our MQM totals for the year.

Another fun thing is the new restaurants on the way to LGA as you can see at the Delta Blog.

One of my absolute favorite chefs in the world is Chef Anne Burrell. One of the new restaurants planned will feature burgers and milkshakes created by Chef Anne. If you’ve never seen her show, Secrets of a Restaurant Chef on Food Network, you should definitely add it to your DVR! My wife and I love watching and learning and then trying a lot of her recipes so we can’t wait to check out the new LGA restaurant choices, including Chef Anne’s! We’ve learned over the years to follow the crew to the better restaurant choices at the various hubs (the Chinese place in concourse B in ATL for example) so hopefully these new restaurant additions at LGA will be a great start to more improved airport food choices!

So, what are your favorite spots when you want more than fake cheese from the lounge? Share please with your fellow readers so we know what to try next time at a Delta HUB! – Rene

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Just how much paint does it take to transform a 747?

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I love the 747. I have a photo of a Delta 747 as my wallpaper on my desktop and just get giddy every time I get ready to fly on one of these birds especially the ones in Delta colors! I was so happy when Delta merged with NWA so my airline once again had some to fly. Have you ever seen this YouTube clip of the 747 repaint?

I could just watch this all day long! How about you? Is the 747 your favorite as well or is it just me? – René

 

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An OFFICIAL update from DELTA about AF Business award seats

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Photo from scrapetv.com

“SkyMiles award seat availability in business class on Air France or KLM-operated flights is currently unavailable. Delta is working to resolve the situation.” – from Delta Air Lines

So we at last have an answer that they know “we have a problem Houston”! I blogged about this the other day after a request from a reader. I had known about this for a while but was hoping it was just a glitch that would be fixed quickly. Obviously it is not. There was also a FT reader who got an e-mail direct from the VP Jeff Robertson of Delta:

“Thanks for your note. I’m well aware of the situation and so is the entire leadership team here at Delta. We have put some postings out on our website with respect to the issue and we continue to apologize for the inconvenience. I assure you that we are doing everything in our power to fix it. The issue however is more complicated however than anyone would expect.”

Now for me, what I think Delta should do is offer low level seats on Delta metal until the bug is fixed. This would be the RIGHT thing to do as no matter how hard the problem is to fix, we should not suffer anymore as a result of Delta IT issues.

I will keep you up to date with any more official and back stage unofficial news I can – Rene

 

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® card wait or jump in now?

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Wow has there been a ton of discussion across the blogs over the (now expired 50k) Chase Sapphire Preferred® card. Both myself and my wife have the card and use the card and yes I have a link for it too in my Best Point Cards tab as well.

Will the current offer go down to 40,000 as many are speculating? It does seem that way. Now does that mean you will not be able to get some kind of link to work that will get you 50,000 points for weeks or months to come? Who knows. More than likely yes but these types are non “official” so YMMV and that is never fun to have a credit pull and risk maybe NOT getting the points you planned on.

So what is my take? Well this card is NOT a Delta card so who needs it! Just kidding. I do use my Chase Sapphire Preferred® card when I travel internationally as my DELTA RESERVE AMEX still charges foreign transaction fees for purchases (makes me just crazy btwl)and I am also still saving up my Ultimate Rewards points for a special redemption. Plus getting a 7% dividend on all points is just tops and that includes this 50k bonus deal so the grand total will be higher after a full year of having the card (they pay out the bonus in FEB give or take a few weeks).

If you do not have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card yet and are looking at a round soon, the risk of losing out on 10k of UR points is something to think about. I sure don’t see a higher offer for this card any time soon! Other good ones to think about if you want ones with no 1st year fee are the 25k AMEX GOLD Membership Rewards or the SPG AMEX 25k card. And as always thanks for supporting the blog – Rene

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More sweepstake chances to win free trips

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A few weeks ago I put up a sort list of a collection of different travel sweepstakes going on or about to end. Several commented or emailed they would love to see this kind of post now and then with ones we may be interested in as frequent travelers. So I have put together a new quick list of ones set to end soon. Here we go:

  • Princess Cruses lines has one HERE
  • Last Minute Cruises has a FB one HERE
  • Hawaii is always a nice place to go look HERE and HERE
  • Delta Vacations has Hawaii one HERE too
  • How about Orlando? Sheraton has one HERE
  • MichaelW Travels has two up HERE and HERE
  • Best Western has a Jazzy one HERE
  • Embassy Suites has a nice one HERE
  • SW Air as a few going on HERE and HERE
  • American Airlines has one for 100,000 miles HERE
  • Best Western for a $250 gift card HERE
  • BA FB is giving away 100 tickets to England HERE
  • Travelocity has one HERE
  • Sorta travel related free gas for a year HERE
  • Ever been to the INDY 500? Win tickets HERE

I would love to know if any blog readers do win and to be able to have a post about the trip if you do. Heck these are all free and someone has to win! – René

 

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GET 20% OFF A DELTA SKY CLUB® 30-DAY MEMBERSHIP until the end of April

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Normally a SkyClub pass will cost you $50. Now if you have the Delta Platinum card it is just $25 for a one time use. Or, if you have the Delta AMEX Reserve card you can get in free but are technically not a member.

If you plan to fly a bunch for 30 days you can get a 30 day membership pass. It will run you $90. But for now you can use code FB30D to get 20% off and spend just $72!   HERE  is the link to get the deal.

Also as a funny side point, I often get e-Mails and comments when I slip and call the Sky Clubs by the old name Crown Rooms, but look at what the Delta.com URL is for signing up for Sky Club membership! ;-)

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